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Two games were on the docket for the D1A Liberty Conference as the fall season came to a close. Rhode Island surprised Fordham on Saturday with a 49-12 domination and Binghamton blasted Rutgers, 43-10. Fortunately, there is one week of postseason fun left.
On Saturday, the Liberty Challenge Bowl Series descends on Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. Thirteen teams from Liberty plus AIC will gather for seven matches next weekend with bragging rights at stake.
Saturday's matches are as follow: Northeastern vs. Cortland, Binghamton vs. UConn, Syracuse vs. Rhode Island, AIC vs. Fordham, Delaware vs. Tufts, Albany vs. Fairfield, and UMass vs. Stony Brook.
Fordham at Rhode Island
For Senior Day in in Kingston, R.I., URI brought its A game to the pitch and promptly dominated Fordham, 49-12. The Rams' forward pack wrecked havoc and was the catalyst for the victory.
When asked what URI did effectively, head coach Warren Boothman answered, “Mostly everything, but particularly dominated the forward game. We put pressure on their pack in the sets, which disrupted their set attack, and we were able to insert forwards into our own attack giving us opportunities and putting their defense on the back foot. All three first half tries came off forward pressure near their goal line."
“James Giannone put on quite a show in the second half. Once he'd get the ball in space, he was gone around the corner,” Boothman continued. “But above all, our defense came to play again. With the pack applying pressure, our backline could be aggressive and created a lot of turnovers that we took advantage of repeatedly.”
Fordham coach Sean McCarthy could only praise URI’s effort in the match. “We didn’t get off the bus and URI absolutely dominated the game. URI played outstanding pack rugby and dominated every aspect of the game. It was a complete beatdown. We let URI play their brand of rugby and they played it well. Hats off to their players and coaches, they played great rugby.”
The first half was pretty tame with URI up 15-7. The second half was another story as the Rams jammed in five tries to blow the game open. James Giannone earned a hat trick in the win and Josh Adams, Garren Jansezian, Louis Morel, Justin Zeramby, and Jack Kelly crossed the whitewash as well. Inside center Adam Nabb converted three of his kicks and one penalty. Finlay Froggatt and Maxim Zhitnik scored for Fordham.
URI will face off against Syracuse in the Bowl Series while Fordham draws D1AA power, AIC.
Binghamton at Rutgers
In Piscataway, N.J., Rutgers didn’t put up much of a fight against Binghamton as the Devils beat the Red Ruggers, 43-10. Rory O’Riordan and Matt Richards each scored a pair of tries and Brian Burke, Pierce Butler, and Brandon Healy added one each.
Binghamton will encounter UConn for the Liberty Challenge on Saturday.